Even though the weather is getting warmer, you can catch a cold at any time. While there are no treatments that fight cold viruses directly, there are several things you can do at home to manage your symptoms and help you feel better.
Use Steam to Decrease Nasal Congestion
Steam is a great help when dealing with nasal congestion. Try taking a hot shower, as the steam created can thin the mucus in your nose as well as reduce inflammation, making it easier to breathe. You could turn on the water in your sink or fill a bowl with warm water and then cover your head with a towel to get the same effect. Just make sure not to burn your face from the water or steam.
Get Plenty of Rest
If you’re otherwise healthy, you likely can recover from a cold from just a few days of quality rest. Getting enough sleep can let your body recover and help fight the infection. Taking a few days off when sick can help from prolonging the illness or spreading it to others.
While resting, remember to also drink plenty of liquids to help keep you hydrated. Liquids like water, juice, sports drinks and hot tea can help thin the mucus in your nasal passages, reducing the pressure and inflammation.
Clear Out Your Sinuses With Nasal Irrigation
You can use a Neti pot or a sinus rinse kit to help flush and clear your nasal passages. Not only can this soothe the discomfort from any current nasal congestion or irritation, but it can also help to prevent future sinus issues as well. Just be sure to use distilled water only to prevent infection from contaminated water.
Use OTC Medications
If you need a little more help managing your stuffy nose symptoms, you can visit Melrose Pharmacy or other local stores in Phoenix to try over-the-counter medications. Options include:
- Nasal sprays
- Antihistamines if your symptoms are caused or worsened by allergies
Even with over-the-counter medication, you want to talk with your doctor or pharmacist before taking anything new to make sure it’s safe for you. Decongestants, in particular, should not be taken by people with certain heart conditions. It’s also important to only use decongestants for the amount of time recommended, as longer use can lead to worsening congestion over time.
When To See a Doctor
If you’ve tried home remedies and OTC treatments, but are still dealing with chronic nasal congestion, make an appointment with a medical provider. You may be dealing with a sinus infection, allergies or another chronic condition that requires further treatment.
For more information or to schedule an appointment with one of our experts, call Arizona Desert Ear, Nose & Throat Specialists today.